Chicken Breed Selections By USDA Hardiness Zones
Oh my! Decisions, decisions, decisions!
When selecting the right chicken breed or breeds it can be challenging especially when selecting breeds that do well in certain climates. Most chicken breeds are both cold and heat hardy however there are certain breeds that will do better in warmer climates than colder and vice versa. The USDA provides an excellent map for our regions and states based on temperatures and plant hardiness zones which is a good reference to look at when considering breeds.
You may wonder what makes a breed heat/cold hardy. There are several factors that play a role in if your breed or breeds will be better in the heat or cold or maybe they are considered to be suitable for both climates. Heat hardy breeds are going to be lighter in their color patterns that help reflect sunlight, have lesser body mass and more exposed skin especially their combs. Large combs work to easily radiate heat away from their bodies. Cold hardy breeds will have a larger body mass and smaller combs and wattles. In the colder months, chickens with larger combs and waddles are more susceptible to frostbite.
The Rhode Island Red breed does great in the northern half of the United States where winters are cold, but can easily adapt to any US location.
Suggested Breeds by State:
Listed are every state and a few suggested breeds suitable for that portion of the United States. If a breed is not listed by your specific state, it does not mean the breed you want will not do well in your area.
Alabama: Blue Laced Polish, Frost White Legbar, White Marans
Alaska: Black Australorp, Golden Laced Wyandotte, Partridge Cochin
Arizona: Egyptian Fayoumis, Partridge Penedesenca, White Leghorn
Arkansas: Austra White, Barred Rock, Dark Brahma
California: Green Queen, Lavender Orpington, Silver Spangled Hamburg
Colorado: Columbian Wyandotte, Lakeshore Egger, Delaware
Connecticut: Blue Cochin, Buckeye, Heritage Barred Plymouth Rock
Delaware: Ancona, Dominique, Silver Laced Wyandotte
Florida: Assorted Polish, Blue Andalusian, White Leghorn
Georgia: Blue Andalusian, Blue Splash Marans, Golden Buff
Hawaii: Light Brown Leghorn, Mottled Houdan, White Sultan
Idaho: Barnevelder, Black Jersey Giant, Blue Orpington
Illinois: Buff Chantecler, Silver Gray Dorking, Welsummer
Indiana: Blue Ameraucana, Buff Orpington, Lakeshore Egger
Iowa: Blue Orpington, Easter Egger, Silver Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben
Kansas: Black Jersey Giant, Frost White Legbar, Jubilee Orpington,
Kentucky: Black Copper Marans, Dominique, Silver Spangled Hamburg
Louisiana: Blue Andalusian, Light Brown Leghorn, White Marans
Maine: Blue Ameraucana, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Buckeye
Maryland: Barred Rock, Buff Brahma, Partridge Cochin
Massachusetts:, Columbian Wyandotte, Heritage Barred Plymouth Rock, Speckled Sussex
Michigan: Delaware, Blue Ameraucana, Jubilee Orpington
Minnesota: Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Lavender Orpington, Silver Gray Dorking
Mississippi: Austra White, Black Australorp, Cuckoo Marans
Missouri: Barnevelder, Golden Cuckoo Marans, Light Brahma
Montana: Dominique, Salmon Faverolles, Silver Laced Wyandotte
Nebraska: Ancona, Black Jersey Giant, Welsummer
Nevada: Assorted Polish, Mottled Houdan, Partridge Penedeseca
New Hampshire: Buff Orpington, New Hampshire Red, Silver Laced Cochin
New Jersey: Buckeye, Delaware, White Cochin
New Mexico: Egyptian Fayoumis, Exchequer Leghorn, White Sultan
New York: Buff Brahma, Golden Laced Wyandotte, Speckled Sussex
North Carolina: Blue Copper Marans, Green Queen, Jubilee Orpington
North Dakota: Columbian Wyandotte, Dark Brahma, Partridge Cochin
Ohio: Blue Splash Maran, Easter Egger, Golden Buff
Oklahoma: Exchequer Leghorn, Golden Cuckoo Marans, Olive Egger
Oregon: Blue Orpington, Blue Cochin, Speckled Sussex
Pennsylvania: Buff Orpington, Light Brahma, Golden Buff
Rhode Island: Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Dominique, Rhode Island Red
South Carolina: Assorted Polish, Austra White, Blue Copper Marans
South Dakota: Barnevelder, Dark Brahma, Silver Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben
Tennessee: Cuckoo Marans, New Hampshire Red, White Rock
Texas: Blue Copper Marans, Egyptian Fayoumis, Lavender Orpington
Utah: Buff Brahma, Columbian Wyandotte, Frost White Legbar
Vermont: Blue Cochin, Salmon Faverolles, Silver Laced Wyandotte
Virginia: Blue Splash Marans, Dominique, Rhode Island Red
Washington: Black Jersey Giant, Columbian Wyandotte, Silver Laced Cochin
West Virginia: Ancona, Lakeshore Egger, Welsummer
Wisconsin: Easter Egger, Jubilee Orpington, Speckled Sussex
Wyoming: Blue Ameraucana, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Light Brahma
Cochins are known for their mothering abilities as well as their extremely docile temperaments. Cochins do well in colder climates.
These are only a few suggestions as there are many breeds that will do very well in most climates. If you have any questions regarding breed characteristics or breed hardiness please contact the customer service team at Meyer Hatchery will be happy to answer any questions, via chat, phone or email. Happy chickening!
Related Posts You Might Like
The Dominique chicken breed is perhaps the original chicken breed to the US. The Dominique could be found on nearly every backyard flock in the early days.
If you have young children, choosing the right breeds for your flock is important. We’ve compiled a list of chicken breeds that tend to be kid-friendly.
The New Hampshire Red is typically lighter reddish-orange colored than a Rhode Island Red, which should be deep mahogany. Modern-day New Hampshire Red hens can lay an average of 170-200 eggs annually.